Best Big Buy-In Online Poker Tournaments, 5 Great Alternatives To The PokerStars Sunday Million

Covers Some Of The Biggest Weekend Poker Tournaments With The Easiest Fields

While the largest weekly online poker tournament is the PokerStars Sunday Million, this is far from the only big weekend multi-table tournament on offer. Depending on your experience level, time zone and bankroll one of the alternatives listed below might be a much better bet – and with easy games at many sites, bigger profits too!

Please note that only the last of these options are currently open to US readers, the $115k guaranteed at the fast growing America's Cardroom (number #5 on the list below). I have a separate section of SNG Planet focused on US-friendly sites - you can find it right here: US Friendly Poker Sites


Alternative Weekend Poker Tournament #1 – 888 Poker $100,000 Mega Deep Challenge

Alternatives Sunday Million 888 Sunday Tournaments888 has been growing fast, and have now introduced a decent line-up of Sunday tournaments. These include the Mega Deep, the Sunday Challenge and the Whale.

My pick is the Mega Deep, which starts at 16:30 GMT each Sunday and have a buy-in of $215. With 10,000 chips to start with you are going to get a lot of play for your money - and with $100,000 guaranteed in the prize pool (this is usually beaten!) then you'll know there is a big money final table waiting for you. Best of all, the recreational type of players who enjoy the 888 games give you a better chance of building your chipstack than in the more 'reg infested' Sunday Million. If you are just learning the game yourself, this means you'll be in good company! There are plenty of satellites (including the 888 Steps SNGs) where you can win a seat. 

The Sunday Challenge has a $80,000 buy-in and an evening start. This has a $90 buy-in and has an optional rebuy. Starting stacks for this one are 5000 chips, with blinds increasing every 15 minutes. Finally, for the higher bankroll players - the Whale has a $600 buy-in and the biggest guarantee of all at $120,000. 

888 Offer $88 free (no deposit of credit card info needed (terms do apply)) for all new players. You could even use it to join the many lower buy-in satellites to these very soft Sunday majors. Check out now and grab your free cash!


Alternative Weekend Poker Tournament #2 – NetBet Poker €50,000 Guaranteed Big Sunday Tournament

NetBet Sunday Major NetBet (formerly called Poker770) are one of the longest serving iPoker Network sites. The big benefit of choosing a Sunday Major here is that iPoker is made up of players from many of the UK and Europe's biggest betting brands... Instead of armies of poker geeks, the tournament fields are made up of regular sports fans who found the poker games via their favorite betting sites (think William Hill, Bet365 or Paddy Power). This keeps the games easy - often to the point of being crazy - and makes the prize pools big too.

The current big game on Sunday is simply called the 'Big Sunday' this kicks off at 17:00 GMT, and has a €75 buy-in. You'll see that all of the games on the iPoker Network are in Euros. This network pulled out of the US 10 years ago, and decided not to continue with dollars. 

You can win seats in the Big Sunday via the 3-stage satellite system which NetBet offer. This gives players with smaller poker bankrolls a legitimate shot at the bigger money. This same satellite qualifier system is used for live poker event qualifiers too (see the NetBet website for the latest of these, there are great new destinations each month).

NetBet is not just about soft tables full of sports fans, there are innovations (speed holdem, twister SNGs), jackpots and tournament action around the clock to be discovered. 

New players can claim a huge welcome bonus at NetBet. This is a 200% match on your first deposit (which is generous enough!), plus €20 extra free cash on top (register with bonus code FREE20 for this). 

Check out those crazy iPoker tables for yourself now over at


Alternative Weekend Poker Tournament #3 - Party Poker Power Series Main Event - $150,000 Guaranteed

Alt Big Sunday Poker Games - Party Main EventEven after all these years, many players head to Party Poker first to learn the game and develop their skills before moving on and exploring some of the other poker sites. Recently, Party aligned a lot of their tournament schedule around a 'Power Series' theme. This is loosely based on boxing, with 'featherweight' (low buy-in) through to 'heavyweight' (big buy-in) games. The Sunday Major at Party Poker is now also a part of this series.

Called the 'Main Event' this kicks of every week at 20:00 CET and has a buy-in of $109. One re-entry is allowed if you bust out. The guarantee for this is $150,000, which means those reaching the final table will be looking at some nice prizes. 

Party are big on satellite qualifiers, and these start at just 1 penny. You'll find that a good proportion of the field win entries this way, which helps to keep the fields soft (there is no comparison with PokerStars, the games at Party are much more recreational). If you enjoy the bigger buy-in games then there are plenty more under the 'High Rollers' tab in the tournament section. You should also look into the 'PokerFest' tournament events, which are getting bigger and better each time they run. 

You can claim a 100% bonus up to $500 at Party. You'll also get the opportunity to complete a lot of 'missions' which will earn you plenty of tournament tickets. Check out now!


Alternative Weekend Poker Tournament #4 – PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up ($500,000 guaranteed)

One thing that puts European players and those further east off of playing the Sunday Million is that a deep run could see you sat up until 4am and a very deep run could wipe out your night's sleep completely. That would be ok if you were guaranteed a final table, only for most people the super-later night is just for a mini-cash.

For this reason the Sunday Warm-up makes a great alternative, starting at 11:00 EST, which is 16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET this even the deepest runs could leave you time to find a bar open to celebrate in!! This is a $215 entry event and has a $500k guaranteed prize pool which is regularly beaten! PokerStars once again show that they are both the biggest and the best by having their '2nd string' tournament bigger than all of their competitors!


Alternative Weekend Poker Tournament #5 – America's Cardroom Poker $115,000 Guaranteed Sunday Special

US Sunday Major Tournament at AmericascardroomAmerica's Cardroom have really carved out a solid niche among the offshore sites welcoming US players. They run the biggest online poker tournaments you will find anywhere, including semi-regular $1,000,000 guaranteed games and an online poker tournament festival called the 'Online Super Series' which comes around every few months. Their regular Sunday Major is called the 'Sunday Special' and guarantees $115,000 each week - with $20,000 guaranteed for first place. This game costs $215 to enter, and starts with 10,000 chips (giving you plenty of room to play). 

There are satellite qualifiers, which start with small buy-ins, that allow smaller bankroll players to take a shot. These are also available for live tournament prize packages (these include events in the Caribbean, check their website for the latest), and for the $1 million gtd / OSS festivals. 

ACR also stand out from the other offshore sites for their innovative promotions. I recommend you check out 'Sit N Crush' and 'the Beast' while you take a look at the excellent tournament schedule.

Check out the tournaments at now!


I have listed some of the articles focused on the best online poker tournaments below, with over 2000 pages (and growing!) focused on poker tournament strategy, SNGs and Satellites remember to bookmark SNG Planet today!

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